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I don’t think there’s a single man on this planet who finds it pleasurable to deal with immature women in his life. Am I right? Perhaps you’re here because you yourself have an emotionally immature gal on your hand.
Of course, she’s beautiful, smart, funny, and then some. Except, you sometimes question if she’s right for you because of the way she acts.
What if I tell you there’s a way to delicately handle the situation– without losing your cool or calling it quits ‘cold turkey’? Stick around for a must-read step-by-step approach to how to deal with an immature woman.
I invite you to begin by reading what it means to be emotionally immature. You’ll also learn what causes someone to behave immaturely and the common signs of a mentally immature woman.
Everything you read here will provide a better idea of what it’s like to date and manage a relationship with this type of woman.
What Does Emotional Immaturity Mean?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), someone who is emotionally immature has “a tendency to express emotions without restraint or disproportionately to the situation.”
The inability to appropriately express and control their feelings and reactions to different situations often leads to difficulty in building healthy relationships.
They include those with cluster B personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. These disorders are a leading cause of dramatic and unpredictable behaviors.
Owing to trouble regulating emotions, you can expect a woman who isn’t quite mature in her thinking to make a big deal of little things. It would be fair to say she’s overreacting unless you’re saying it to minimize her feelings, something narcissists do when gaslighting their partners.
Toxic men also tend to refer to women as “crazy” or “childish” when they react emotionally to the mistreatment they’re dishing out.
As an emotionally intelligent guy, you can address the situation in a more respectful and supportive way, as explained below.
What Causes Adults to Act Immaturely?
Everyone grows and matures at their own pace, physically, mentally, and emotionally. That said, not because someone is an adult it means they will behave as one. Some adults continue to think and act in ways that will make you question their age and level of maturity.
Don’t get me wrong. A person can display child-like behavior when they’re having fun or interacting with children. That doesn’t make them immature.
An adult who’s experiencing stunted emotional growth will behave childishly “when emotions are high or a conflict is present,” according to Very Well Health. That’s the difference, and there are several reasons someone matures physically but not mentally or emotionally.
Psychologists believe early childhood trauma and developing an insecure attachment style are two main contributing factors responsible. One study attributed emotional immaturity to a lack of self-confidence and insecurity.
Failure to learn how to self-regulate their emotions, lacking healthy conflict resolution skills, and low emotional intelligence are other reasons.
Unfortunately, the tendency to act in childish ways doesn’t just go away on its own. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself if you can put up with it long-term.
Red Flag Signs You’re Dealing with an Immature Woman
Loving someone who acts irresponsibly or cannot keep their emotions in check could lead to a relationship fraught with tension and conflict. Here’s how to recognize your woman lacks emotional maturity. At least, you’ll know what to expect when interacting with her.
She’s often rigid in her thinking and refuses to compromise.
When she wants something, she wants it and she’ll pressure you to get it done or face the wrath of her explosive anger.
She has a knack for picking fights.
You’ll pick up this red flag early in the dating phase from her constant nitpicking. Usually, she’ll complain about everything. Eventually, you end up in a bad mood from her picking away at your patience and hoping to cause a fight.
Unfortunately, this is how many emotionally immature women cope with their own negative feelings about themselves and life as a whole.
She goes from nice to bratty in seconds.
The quick shift in attitude usually happens if she’s not getting her way. She’ll get upset and throw a fit by raising her voice, pouting, or stomping her feet the way kids do.
If not, she may attack you with words or whine at length about you not meeting her needs. You may be subject to bashing for something as simple as wanting to eat something different than she suggested.
She blows little setbacks out of proportion.
Emotionally sensitive women are easily triggered. Things like a change in plans create a strong sense of disappointment. She hasn’t learned to accept that change and setbacks are normal.
On that note, she’ll make a big issue out of it and even blame you for things that are out of your control. She lacks the emotional tools needed to process her feelings and problem-solve in healthy ways.
She excludes you from important decisions.
She may plan a vacation with friends and tell you only days before she departs. Worse yet, you may discover it by the way.
Naturally, you may get upset from being ‘kept in the dark’ about her plans. If you express your feelings, she may turn it around and call you an unsupportive or controlling man.
She refuses to own up to her mistakes.
She’s not one to take accountability, because she believes it’s everyone else’s fault. Maybe it’s because she’s deeply jaded from past relationships and continues to view herself as a victim. She prefers to avoid conversations about her flaws and will get defensive if you call her out.
She fears commitment.
You may notice this in a woman with an insecure attachment style, especially an avoidant-fearful attachment style. Avoiding commitment could come from trust issues, difficulty being emotionally vulnerable, or a fear of getting hurt.
She pressures you to commit.
Healthy relationships take time to build. In the early dating phase, she may start talking about commitment, overlooking the need to get to know one another well first. If you tell her you want to take things slow, she may say you don’t love her. She perceives it as rejection and a sign you’ll abandon her.
Many immature women are also needy, can’t take positive criticism, defensive, argumentative, self-centered, and inflexible. They want what they want when they want it and hardly consider your feelings.
Mature and emotionally stable women typically don’t exhibit these characteristics. They are patient, understanding, adaptable, respectful, and try to meet your needs.
An 11-Step Approach to Dealing With an Immature Female
Dealing with a girlfriend who lacks communication skills or frequently displays negative attitudes can be frustrating at times.
Some men confessed she’s the type of woman that’s difficult to love. There will hardly ever be any peace and happiness unless there’s a change in her behavior and how you deal with her.
Below is a step-by-step plan that may help limit conflict and improve your overall relationship experience.
#1. Try and Understand What Causes Her to Behave this Way
Have an open and honest conversation with your partner about her characteristics and conduct. Ask her why she thinks she acts the way she does. Find out about her upbringing and life experiences. You may learn things that’ll help you understand her personality better.
Try to put yourself in her shoes. This may help you take a more loving and supportive approach to dealing with the issues. After all, if you were the immature partner, you’d feel hurt if she gave up on you without trying to understand the entire situation, right?
#2. Explain How Her Behavior Impacts the Relationship
Your partner’s childish and inconsiderate habits will eventually take a toll on you and the relationship.
Shutting down or avoiding her, hoping she’ll get the message and fix her behavior, isn’t going to work. These passive-aggressive solutions are going to throw tantrums to get your attention.
Instead, point out the toxic behaviors. Next, express how you feel, e.g., hurt, mistreated, disrespected, or taken for granted.
Note whether she’s receptive to your concerns, feelings, and needs or gets defensive. Her response should guide how you approach the relationship from this point on.
#3. Decide If You Want to Continue the Relationship
Getting a better idea of why she’s immature does not mean you have to put up with her. Ending the relationship is still an option. At the same time, you may feel torn, especially if you love her.
You may even decide to give her a chance to change if you’ve invested a lot in the relationship and don’t want to simply throw it away.
Note that you cannot carry the relationship all by yourself. Ultimately, a positive experience in this relationship will require her to work on herself. Otherwise, you’ll continue to feel frustrated, unloved, unsupported, and dissatisfied in the relationship.
#4. Let Her Know You Got Her Back
Some adults learned as children that they get more attention when they act wayward or immaturely. They then use these tactics in romantic relationships to express dissatisfaction and communicate their needs.
Although they seek attention through negative behavior, they nevertheless feel seen and validated.
If this is how your girlfriend asserts her needs, she may be struggling with low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Tell her you understand and are willing to give her time and space to work on herself.
Ask her if there’s anything you can do to help. For example, suggesting tips for improving self-esteem, self-awareness, and emotional maturity.
#5. Support but Don’t Enable Her Behavior
No one and no relationship is perfect. Reminding yourself of this fact is a good starting point as it helps you to empathize with and support her. That doesn’t mean you’ll allow her to treat you anyhow, out of pity.
She’s an adult who’s responsible for her own decisions and actions. You’re also not responsible for her childhood trauma or seeing herself as a victim.
Your role as a partner is to support, not to play the ‘fixer’. One crucial way to avoid enabling her and creating emotional codependency is by setting boundaries.
#6. Set Practical Boundaries to Protect Your Well-Being
If you haven’t seen any effort on your partner’s part to be mindful of her action, it’s time to set up clear boundaries to protect yourself. Explain what they are and how you expect her to conduct herself.
Enforcing those boundaries is equally important. State how you intend to respond to boundary breaches.
For example, tell her you won’t engage in conversations if she’s going to call you names or disrespect you in other ways. This strategy can inspire her to develop mindful communication skills.
#7. Be Patient with Her
A lot of men would walk away from an immature woman without giving her a chance to correct her behavior. Luckily, your girlfriend has an empathetic guy like you.
Just keep in mind that she won’t change overnight, so it’s important to be patient and have realistic expectations.
You may notice progress only to witness her going back to her old ways. Try not to get frustrated and give up. Positive change takes time. While she works on herself, keep yourself busy doing the things you love.
#8. Applaud Her Efforts to Change
Changing deeply-ingrained characteristics takes time and commitment. Doing the work is often easier when the person takes responsibility for themselves and is constantly mindful of everything they say and do moving forward.
Even though you won’t see major shifts in her personality right away, make it your duty to offer words of encouragement.
For example, tell her you appreciate how patient and understanding she was when you showed up later than expected. Positive feedback from you can motivate her to keep trying to be a more mature partner.
#9. Ask If She Thinks Therapy Might Help
There’s only so much we can do to help our loved ones. Once you’ve done all you can, the rest is up to them. Toxic behaviors coming from unresolved childhood trauma and personality disorders are best left to be dealt with by the experts.
In other words, encourage her to talk to a therapist who can help her trace back to the root cause of emotional immaturity. She may also learn in therapy what triggers negative emotions, e.g., disappointment or criticism, and how to cope with those feelings in healthy ways.
#10. Consider Couples Counseling
Going to counseling together can help even though you’re not the immature partner or the one to blame for your partner’s low level of maturity. Remember a relationship involves two people.
A major benefit of couple’s therapy is confronting the problem together in the presence of an unbiased expert. The therapist will encourage you to explore communication, problem-solving, and coping skills to help build a healthier and happy relationship.
Talking to a relationship expert can shed light on areas you can work on to minimize undesirable reactions from your partner.
#11. Take Care of Yourself
Nothing is wrong with prioritizing your own well-being while trying to deal with your partner’s shortcomings. Put aside some time every day for self-care. This can involve activities that support your physical, mental, and emotional health.
For example, eating healthy, exercising, and getting quality sleep. Self-care makes you feel good about yourself and more optimistic about the future. With these positive feelings, you may be in a better mindset to cope with your relationship.
Final Thoughts on How to Deal with an Immature Woman
Immaturity in any relationship can lead to frequent toxic exchanges and unhappiness. You could support your partner in becoming emotionally intelligent or end the relationship.
Remember your girlfriend isn’t intentionally acting immaturely. She lacks the skills to regulate how she thinks, feels, and responds. You can be empathic towards her without excusing her poor behavior.
By taking a patient and understanding approach, you’ll show you care and may motivate her to be a better person. If the relationship doesn’t work out, be sure to educate yourself on the 10 Signs and Examples of Emotional Maturity before looking for your next partner.
And if you're looking for more relatable articles about relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 16 Signs You Have a Right Person, Wrong Time Relationship
- 15 Warnings Signs You Have a Toxic Girlfriend
- How to Get Over Trust Issues in a Relationship: A Simple Guide